Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Seeing Jesus in the Eucharist- Monstrance Art Project

One of my students' favorite art projects of the entire school year is when we make these gold Monstrances.  Beautiful results and powerful message, it is a project that I enjoy teaching every year.

I originally posted about this project and how we added it to our notebooking project here, but I've collected a few more pictures, resources, and instructions over the past couple of years, so I thought I would share some more details on how your classroom could make this cool project.

First, I collect our needed supplies, most importantly (and expensively), the gold paper. You can see that I have a collection of scraps that we reuse for small pieces.  I have found that the cheapest way to provide gold paper for all the students is to buy large pieces of gold poster board and cut them down so that six or eight students can use them. 
I also found gold duct tape this year and bought a couple of rolls.  Each student got a strip about 6" long to use.  This was a great way for the students to cut and stick small details that can be challenging with the poster board.

This year I had the students make a separate pattern on a 6"x6" square of paper.  We talked about symmetry and folded the paper horizontally, vertically, and diagonally to help create a pattern for radial symmetry.
 You can see the beginnings of some of their patterns here:

The students traced these patterns onto the gold paper, and then added more layers, a base, and a stand.
The next step was to create the host.  Conveniently, I have a 1 1/4" punch.  I fold over regular white paper, and punch a circle through both layers with one edge still visible.
 This causes you to have two circles that are still attached like this:
Then using a 1" punch, I cut out these Jesus stickers out in a circle. (I have found these stickers at Dollar Tree and ordered them from Autom.  You also could just print small images and then punch them out.)
 The sticker is placed on the inside of one the circles, creating a white host that opens to reveal Jesus on the inside- reminding us of the gift and truth of the Eucharist.
 And then is glued in the center of the Monstrance:

Liquid glue is a necessity for this project (not glue sticks) and from experience I know that before the glue dries, the gold paper curls and can ruin the project.  The host also very easily sticks shut as the glue dries.  To solve this problem, I tried a new technique this year and it worked like a charm.  When they were finished with their project, each student put a small square of foil in between the layers of the host.  They then put a whole sheet of foil over the project and then laid a textbook over the foil.  The weight helped everything dry flat and the foil peeled off without sticking to the project.
Here is one awesome project from this year:
After the project was dry, each student chose a Fulton Sheen quote about the Eucharist and attached it to the bottom of the art.  Here was our bulletin board this year with the completed projects:

I love how creative these projects always are, and they are such a great way to give the kids a visual of the importance of the Eucharist.  The display in the hallway always attracts the attention of other students- they love flipping up the white host and finding Jesus inside, and like picking out their favorite quotes.

If you would like to make this project yourself, I have a few printable resources here:

Click here for an 8 per page printable of this quote:
Click here for a page of 8 different Sheen quotes on the Eucharist:

Click here for printable instructions for this craft and teaching points, as well as adaptation for younger students:
We lost our bulletin boards this year, so here is another display option using a classroom door:


  1. This is so great! I will be using this with my second graders next week!! Thanks for the idea.

  2. Can I ask how long this project took them?

  3. Hello Katie, we are doing the Marvelous Mystery of the Eucharist at home VBS this year. Your idea of the Monstrance is amazing! We will be doing it in our virtual closing party. We are mailing the materials, as a kit, for the families to do it at home. God Bless your generosity!

    1. Hi Liliana! I'm so glad this was helpful. The VBS sounds wonderful!

  4. What grade did you do this project with? Nice results

    1. The projects pictured were done with 5th graders! I've done it with older kids too, but with younger kids, I've substituted a gold doily or a precut starburst for the circular part of the Monstrance to help simplify.

  5. I used gold cupcake liners from Hobby Lobby for our craft. They worked well!